"De Vermis Mysteriis" is the 6th full-length studio album by US stoner metal act High on Fire. The album was released through E1 Music in April 2012.
The music on the album continue down the usual aggressive stoner metal path and if you enjoyed albums like "Death Is This Communion (2007)" and "Snakes for the Divine (2010)", you pretty much know what you´re in for here. Aggressive stoner doomy guitar riffing, Matt Pike´s raw vocal delivery and an energetic rythm section that drive the music forward. A track like "King of Days" is a bit different though, as it´s more leaned back, melodic stoner metal with some nice harmony guitar sections. Other than that the album varies between mid-paced heavy tracks and faster paced and more aggressive ones.
The album is produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, who is usually a very skilled producer. I can´t say I´m fully satisfied with the sound production on "De Vermis Mysteriis" though. As such the instrumental part of the album is well produced, but why Matt Pike´s otherwise enjoyable and raw vocals are placed so low in the mix is beyond me. He is almost reduced to mumbling volume at times. An odd production choice if you ask me. With a vocalist this strong, I´d always put him high in the mix.
"De Vermis Mysteriis" is upon conclusion another strong release by High on Fire. Personally I don´t rate it as high as it´s two direct predecessors, which is mostly due to how the vocals are placed in the mix, but it´s probably an aquired taste and I´d still say that a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.